Tuesday, December 19, 2006

North Korea and the Berlin Wall

It won't be on the agenda of the six-party talks, which are scheduled to restart this week in Beijing. The plight of the tens of thousands of North Korean refugees in China is a humanitarian crisis that has received scant world attention.

But the experience of Pastor Buck and other rescuers is worth noting as negotiators sit down with Kim Jong Il's emissaries. North Korea won't change, they believe, so long as Kim remains in power. Follow that logic, and regime change is the proper goal.

The refugees, Pastor Buck argues, are the key to regime change in North Korea and, by inference, the key to halting the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Help one man or woman escape, he says, and that person will get word to his family back home about the freedom that awaits them on the outside. Others will follow, and the regime will implode.

This is what happened in 1989, when Hungary refused to turn back East Germans fleeing to the West, thereby hastening the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

[Excerpt of an article by Melanie Kirkpatrick, The Wall Street Journal]

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